‘New phase of Globalization’ Affects the Efforts in Reducing CO2 Emissions

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A new study conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and colleagues from China and the US shines a new light on CO2 emissions. Researchers argue that the ‘new phase of globalization’ could undermine international efforts in reducing CO2 emissions.

The study found that South-South trade has doubled in the period of 2004-2011. Production activities started to move from China and India to countries that started to develop (Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand). The strategy is to use new raw materials and to produce intermediate goods.

While Chinese exports show a slow or reverse in CO2 emissions, exports from Vietnam and Bangladesh have increased.

Global CO2 Emission Continued to Increase

From 2005 to 2015 international trade has increased by over 50%, and 60% of the increase is due to the developing countries that have started to export more goods. The South-South trade also tripled in the same period.

The authors have published their findings in Nature Communications. They warn that the international efforts in reducing global emissions will be undermined.

Co-author of this study Dabo Guan, is a professor in climate change economics at UEA’s School of International Development. He stated:

“The rapid growth in South-South trade reflects a fragmenting of global supply chains whereby early-production stages of many industries have relocated from countries like China and India to lower-wage economies, a trend that has accelerated since the global financial crisis in 2008. In addition to their important implications for global economic development, these trends will affect the magnitude and regional distribution of future global CO2 emissions.”

Offshoring As a Way Around…

Prof Guan also said that global development will have to keep the climate target at 2°C. However, their study found that more Asian countries (Vietnam or Pakistan) have risen production activities, increasing the emissions of CO2.

He also argues that China and India may have lowered their emissions, according to the Paris Agreement. But they have offshored their activities to other Asian countries that have “less stringent climate policy measures.”

A way to successfully reduce emissions, says Guan, is to decarbonize all energy systems in the “entire process of industrialization” all over the world.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.